“Dilnot Update 3”

This is a continuation of the previous blog entitled “DILNOT UPDATE 2” on the 6th March 2013.

The one key question that politicians of all parties will not face up to.   A “King has got no clothes” situation :-


This is the Daily Mail’s total preoccupation with the “horror” of moving into residential care.

Headline after headline over the last three years has declaimed the gross unfairness of elderly people having to sell their own homes to pay for care, if they move into a residential home.     This idea has been so frequently repeated that it has become an accepted “no go area”, even by the Government.     No politician will stand up and suggest people should sell their homes to pay for care.

But why do people need to keep their house if they move into residential care?     Obviously if their spouse is still alive that is a different matter and is allowed for in the current system.  Otherwise there is no rational reason for hanging onto a house you can’t live in.    It is only the emotive argument that Mum or Dad’s legacy is being sold to pay for care, when others did not scrimp and save to buy their house and now get their care for free.

Failure to confront the reality of this situation is what holds back the release of billions of pounds that could begin to transform the lives of so many elderly people, who while they hang onto their house, cannot afford good quality care.

Yes, people worked hard all their lives to buy their houses, but it is house price inflation, more than hard work, that really added value to their houses.     The hard fact is that while they were paying off  their mortgages, people were not saving enough for their retirement.  Now, they need to think of their house as their retirement fund rather than hanging onto it to leave to their grown up children.

If they can do both they are lucky.    If not their first priority must be to look after themselves, which is what most children would want for them.

The “hang onto your house at all costs” message, so strongly advocated by the Daily Mail and often picked up by the voluntary sector, holds back homeowners from the reality of a better life.

My message is the opposite.    Cash in your house now and buy yourself a better life while you are still young enough to enjoy it.     Forget the idea that the State will look after you, it won’t.     All the evidence is that State funded care in both the NHS and the social care sector, is underfunded and poor quality.    It is only through homeowners looking after themselves by downsizing, that there is any chance of a significant amount of additional funds being available to improve the lives of older people.  Equity release is an alternative but it is prohibitively expensive.

The missing link, which Dilnot set out to solve but Government intervention in his report has sunk before it got started, is a viable and affordable long-term care insurance market.

The only sensible answer left is a new compulsory social care tax on everyone, to cover the cost of long-term care.

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6 Responses to “Dilnot Update 3”

  1. This makes uncomfortable reading, and i am not sure if i am adult enough to take the medicine perscribed?
    I notice in your responses to me on dilnot update where I ramble on in dreams and fantasy, you have castigated me!!! But politely. Thank you.
    With this thorny question of care and the cost of care, I have a percieved problem : detached from reality, but embedded in emotion.
    To sell ones house and down size, and to provide for care is logical, and the next generation must make its own provision, and way through the world. I shudder, and shake at this logic. When I sell my home I have realised an asset, at the time of selling (A real value- and limited, by the money transaction at the time of sale). I now down size and antcipate old age and my dotage on care-maybe? depending on the ‘Good Lord’. In the meanwhile while I am progressing to my senility, I must make provision-A will, power of attorney, and my children may need assistance, and grand children?
    Here comes the rub, I cannot forecast any of the above outcomes it is life as one lives it, and sees it? However I would feel more comfortable if my future outgoings were more predictable, and I would know in a little more educated way, if all my assets have to be spent on care, or whether I do in fact have sufficient funds to slice the share of assets more equitably for care and family emotional calls. As you state life is a bitch. There is no answer, and when in care and power of attorerney faces me, I have to rely on my family, and all the pressures they may have on their personal time, and assets. (I do not wish to become a money cow, to them, and neglect my wife, and deneigh her care after I have left this mortal world).
    As you say to protect ones family one must protect ones self in old age, but it is human to worry and try and provide for ones family. I believe one must look as to how one did ones best for ones parents, and if they have the life, security and care in old age that we as a family can afford then I think duty done. One must look at ones parent and ones children, and as you treat one generation with respect and love then you will be judged. It is not money alone that solves a heartache, it is feelings as well. Ones past deeds are a good guide, as to how one may act with confidence in old age. Having had a life a leopard cannot change its spots. Be true unto one self.

  2. AS with life one has to be guided by the elder generation, and the wiser heads. One needs as you point out need to provide in old age for care, and many other financial risks of life.
    This has to start as a younger person in the early 20’s, with modest insurance cover on life/mortgage and now the industry should be allowing the whole term life insurance polices to maybe cover care. I would differentiaite this from loss or earnings and terminal illness care? I am sure some government or insurance actuary could work out a reasonable premium for such cover! I hope so. This is where the todays figures and government statstics could be benificial to all for those under 40, who are prepared to make provision for old age. Over this age or above it we are in crisis and may have to accept the Status Quo!!!

  3. It is now February 2014. On monday 24th. 2014: The Extracare Lovat Fields Village was the purpose of a most pleasant and informative visit by the Minister for Housing Minister Kris Hopkins (MP For Keigthley) and The MP for Milton Keynes Ian Stewart. With the CEO of Extracare Nick Abbey.
    Kris Hopkins gave an impromptu speech of thanks. In the speech Kris highlighted the impressions he had gained from an Extracare Type Retirement Village, with its facilities for mixed social accommodation, the general Village amenities (Restruant cafe gym liraray Reception, Care and Support Staff a lagre hall for village events, and various smaller rooms for crafts, and small social meetings. Activities by the various village committes were diplayed, and overall Kris was and stated that he was impressed that the ‘Concept’ was one to be supported for the older generations of the Future.
    It was pointed out that while the age of life expectancy may creep towards 100 years, one as a government has to think not only of the welfare of the individual (Retiring at maybe 68-70) but their well being as individuals, and a lively village is one of a mixed socal group, and mixed physical ability gruops, and ages from 55 to 60 Upwards. This is especially important if one does not wish ‘Grotto’s’ of Infirmed older aged persons.
    Kris’s final sentance was one of hope that the existing government was reviewing policy for the Older citezen of the UK, and that this visit gave him inspiration to push policices on housing and accommodation for the older retired person(s).
    Not Bad John, your vision goes on.

  4. Extracts of Kris Hopkins speech of thanks, and other persons from or at the event. It is interesting and gives me hope for the future older generations with respect to future Government Policy: When it is issued /voted on , or decreed.
    Kris Hopkins sees cutting edge homes for older people in Milton Keynes
    Department for Communities and Local Government
    Page history:
    Published 26 February 2014
    Providing housing support for older and vulnerable people
    Kris Hopkins MP
    The Lovat Fields Village in Milton Keynes shows how better housing can transform the lives of older people.

    Kris Hopkins visiting residents in Lovat Fields Village.
    The Lovat Fields Village in Milton Keynes shows how better housing can transform the lives of older people, Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said this week.
    On Monday the minister met with some of the 350 residents at the purpose-built retirement village in Willen.
    Mr Hopkins said he was impressed with the first-rate affordable accommodation, coupled with the free exercise programmes and other activities run for the well-being of residents. Residents can try their hand at woodwork, jewellery making, knitting, or even a spot of curling.
    The development integrates the provision of care for those who need it and has developed an award winning programme for caring for those with dementia.
    Specialist staff known as Locksmiths work with residents to ‘unlock’ their memories and help them enjoy life to the full. The results are clear: residents of the villages with dementia are 50% less likely to have to move into a care home.
    Local people can also use the gym and join in activities with residents, increasing social opportunities and creating a sense of community. And the charity benefits from the support of over 3,000 volunteers.
    The minister said by offering residents the full range of tenure options, ExtraCare – the charity behind Lovat Fields – was offering independence, which made the scheme an attractive option for older people. The funds from the sale of high value homes ensure that affordable homes can also be built.
    Out of the 258 properties 100 are rented, 90 are for shared ownership, and 68 are for outright purchase.
    The development is 1 of 14 retirement developments and 17 smaller homes run by the trust providing homes for 4,400 people across the Midlands and the North of England, and demand is booming with 30,000 households registering an interest in the charity’s villages.
    Housing Minister Kris Hopkins said:
    Lovat Fields is transforming the lives of older people, and providing innovative and inspiring ways for people to maintain their independence and tackle the scandal of loneliness in older age. The residents I’ve met were delighted to live there.
    I want to see approaches like these and others replicated across the country so older people can have homes to suit their need.
    Nick Abbey, Chief Executive of The ExtraCare Charitable Trust, said:
    Lovat Fields is the first of 2 ExtraCare villages in Milton Keynes and a response to overwhelming local demand for retirement housing with care that offers independence, activity and social opportunities at an affordable cost.
    Our charity’s Milton Keynes villages provide a real alternative to more traditional forms of care and are integrated into their neighbourhoods with over 500 local visitors using their gyms and other social facilities as part of an inspirational community hub.
    The minister met Jan Cook, who has lived in the village since it opened and leads the residents’ association. She is also editor of the monthly village newsletter, the Willen Warbler. Jan said:
    Living at Lovat Fields has changed my life. I feel safe and secure and have never been so busy with so many friends on my doorstep. It’s so good to know that care is here if I ever need it. With lots to do and support available people can be independent and happy here.
    Mr Hopkins also met Mick Eells, who has lived in the village since it opened. He said:
    Moving here doesn’t retire you from doing things! My wife and I are always busy, singing in the choir, supporting the residents association and entertainment group or volunteering in the bar. There’s never a dull moment but we have our own apartment so we can join in or seek the privacy of our own front door as we wish. It’s a good balance. Mike Els.
    End of Quote
    Have you all out there got the same ideals and support for your local elderly residents? answers on a post card please. Blow a trumpet or too, and do not forget we all have a vote, which may influance future government policies? in the manner we may wish for each and everyone of us.

  5. davidwfreeman237 says:

    I keeping a weather eye open for the political classes ( as promised by some of the electioning classes), to mention care within and for the elderly? some of its aspects come to work quiet well: However the basic costs from retirement and mobile to being bedridden, and imobile are what appears to be self funding. The limits of financial support, whether by grant/ nomination, or cash in hand are very carefully, or appear very carefully tied up in red tape? Maybe I am wrong and a politician may clarify the costs of help and assistace to the elderly?

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